There are less comfortable places to get stuck… like the backseat of a Volkswagen

Stuck in a Corvette Gran SportA few weeks back, I went to the Tampa International Auto Show, and like every year, I was waiting in lines to sit in my current buying interested cars as well as my old time favorites like the Corvettes. That’s when this happened.

I crawled into a brand new Corvette Grand Sport. The seat was as low as I remember Corvette seats feeling, as if I was sitting three inches above the ground. I was loving it. Then, after a few seconds of playing around with the shifter and the switches, everything went black! The whole thing lost complete power. And everything, yes everything in these new Vettes is electronically controlled, apparently even the door handles… I was stuck!

For a second, I considered making a “Duke boys” style exit through the window, but this is a Vette we’re talking about here, and I am an American, unfortunately a slightly chubbier one than I used to be. The window wasn’t really an option. I called my wife over, luckily she was never interested enough in Corvettes to get into it. She had to go get one of the GM people to get me out. When the lady came over, I found out that they had built an emergency handle into it. I’m not sure if this was a standard item in the interior or something special for the show setup, but considering the look of it, and that if you ever had a dead battery, you’d be stuck in the car, it probably is. I hope the all electric locks save weight, because otherwise, it just seems like a hassle and a waste of time.

Dukes of Hazzard Challenger and BTTF Delorean

Speaking of them ‘ole Duke boys, one of the Dukes of Hazzard Dodge Chargers was also on display, along with the Back To The Future Delorean.

Dukes of Hazzard Charger

BTTF Delorean interior
Those seats have seen better days.

Mr Fusion
I thought the Mr. Fusion with the orange Charger in the background made for an interesting composition.

Stingray Concept angled
The Transformers Corvette Stingray concept car also made an appearance.

Stingray Concept front
Stingray concept side
Stingray concept rear
Willys coupe
There was a small collection of hot rods, like this gorgeous Chameleon purple hued Willys coupe, and an orange duce coupe.

Willys coupe interior
Duce coupe front
Duce coupe LS6
LS6 powered!

Duce coupe interior
Lambo group 1
I was surprised to see out of all the new cars they had to look at, the Lamborghini’s had water spots on the paint! Still, gorgeous cars. I’d love to own one some day.

Lambo group 2
Green Lambo
Last, but certainly not least, I got to check out the Subarus. These are the cars that I have the most likelihood of owning in the next couple of years, out of everything in the show. Mitsubishi, as much as I’d like to have sat in one, didn’t even show this year! And, the Toyobaru (FT86/FR-S) hasn’t been shown in the United States, outside of an early FT-HS concept version shown in Detroit.  I was happy to see that the fatter flares of the WRX STI have made it onto the WRX this year, along with the much better looking front bumper. The WRX and STI seem to get better and better, looks and performance-wise, since the second year of this new GRB generation (we won’t talk about 2008, hehe).

STI strake
The big hoopla this year, however was the re-introduction of the sedan body style to the STI range. I for one, like it, but still prefer the wagon/5 door/hatch version.

STI hatch
STI hatch open
I can’t tell you how much I want to take one of these home. My wife even likes it, and she typically doesn’t like non-European cars! It was so nice to sit in one. It had been a couple of years. I forgot how comfortable the seats are in the STI.

Lifestyle badges 1
Lifestyle badges 2
They also had these little lifestyle badges, which if I’m honest, I’ll say were a bit gaudy, but pretty genius marketing-wise.

Corvette interior
Well, this is it from me for this year. See you all in 2011. Happy new year everyone!


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